Ratio 3 is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Buck Ellison. For his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Ellison presents images that emphasize the camera’s ability to both create and document displays. By staging compositions that subtly reference the presentation of prized commodities, Ellison produces images that reflect upon the relationship between display and bourgeois tastes, aspirations, and values.
Ellison approaches photography traditionally and methodically, shooting with a large format camera and printing in a color darkroom. Drawing on a wide range of motifs, Ellison’s photographs turn an analytical eye on commerce and culture. With Rolex Jump, Design Frank Rothenberger, Cardinali-Rothenberger GmBH, CHIO Aachen (2012), Ellison strips the sport of show jumping of both horse and rider, presenting the horse jump as a sculptural object and a vessel for lifestyle branding.
Rather than simply condemn or celebrate bourgeois culture, Ellison adopts an ambivalent position, willfully acknowledging his own participation in the systems he examines. With Untitled (Dock)(2011), Ellison presents the full edition of five prints and two artist’s proofs as a single work, creating both a playful affront to market logic and a tongue-in-cheek imitation of serial photography.
In Zahnarztsöhne (2013), the largest image of the exhibition, Ellison creates an enlargement of a small section of a polo shirt. The photograph invites viewers to see beyond what can be noticed at first glance, showing the knitting, sewing, and loose threads that make up the garment. This meditative gaze is indicative of Ellison’s approach to his entire practice. Criticism and condemnation are forgone; instead he invites viewers to simply look closer.
Buck Ellison (b. 1987, San Francisco) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. He received his BA in German Literature and Visual Arts from Columbia University, New York in 2010 and will receive an MFA from the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Frankfurt – Städelschule in July of this year. Recent exhibitions include Snakes in the Grass, Clarence Mews, London (2014); Press Days, Galerie Gillimeier Rech, Berlin; Influence, Espace d’art 1m3, Lausanne; and Merry Company, Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt am Main (all 2013).